As a kid, I was bullied; however, my bulling was never as horrifying as the kind of bullying kids face these days. The worst statement that I would get was “You’re a loser!” and while such statement did hurt me as a child, it never drove me to have suicidal thoughts. However, when I read about stories of young children, suiciding, because of the amount of bullying they receive from their peers, I become extremely horrified and worried about my little sister. For whatever reason kids bully, it will not be completely stopped; but the level of bullying can be decreased. How can a child or teenager, encourage someone to commit suicide because they are “overweight” or “ugly”… kind of hard to imagine that kids can be that cruel, but it is the reality today.
Opening the news this morning, I read about a young middle schooler, Rebecca Sedwick, who was bullied to death by her peers. Her mother, and school administrators, tried to help Rebecca, but to no vail. Her mother even got Rebecca pulled out of her school; but that did not stop Rebecca’s peers from bulling her. Instead of face-to-face bullying, her peers used social media and cell-phones in order to destroy Rebecca’s esteem. Rebecca’s last text message was sent to a 12 year old online friend “I am going to jump, I can’t take it anymore”. The last time Rebecca’s mother saw her was the night before she jumped off a tower.
It is not the first time I read stories about children who suicide as a result of being terrorized by their peers. However, the horror I feel each time I read about these stories never decreases. It drives me to think of how my little sister will deal with such situation, god-forbidden, if she faces it. Thus, I try to encourage her not to care about what others think, and to love herself despite how others feel towards her; but is that enough? Rebecca’s mother, and many parents with bullied children, try their best to improve their children’s self-esteem. However, that was not enough to help Rebecca love and value herself; so what is the solution?
While schools today try to raise awareness about the consequences of bullying, it has little impact on the bullies themselves. A kid who constantly bullies others does not simply “stop” after hearing an adult lecture them about the wrongness of bullying. But, that child was not born as a bully; such behavior is developed from the kind of environment at home.
While those that bullied Rebecca are now going to face jail sentences (very thankful for that), these kids are also victims. The environment at home shapes a child’s personality. Children often learn by watching their parents’ behavior: if parents are violent with each other or towards their children, whether in words or physical action, the child will take that behavior to school. Thus, parents need to be educated about the cause of the issue and how to prevent their children from developing such behavior.
First, parents need to develop a safe and loving environment for their children. If children are raised in such environment, their is no way that these children will become bullies at school. Second, they need to constantly speak with their child about bullying and how such behavior can devastate someone else’s life. Lastly, it is important for parents to monitor their child and be aware of their child’s behavior at school and online.
Rebecca’s bullies and their parents are at fault, and the bullies definitely deserve to be jailed (even if they are only 12-14 year olds); but I hope that parents can learn a lesson from this devastating event.